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Project Summary 
System size235kW
Panel Type250W ET Solar, 265W Qcell Solar
InvertersABB Trio-27.6TL, Fronius Primo 6.0
MonitoringABB Portal, Fronius
Financial / Environmental Highlights 
Estimated payback period-
Levelised cost of energy (25 years) c/kWh-
First year C02e reduction (kg)-


Wohler’s is a homeware and furniture company with three retail stores located across South Australia in Tanunda, Mount Barker, and Richmond. ZEN Energy installed 235kW of solar across all three of Wohler’s stores between 2015 and 2017.

About the project

Wohler’s has a rich history and began life as The Tanunda Pottery Shop, selling handmade pottery and a variety of other items made either free form or on the pottery wheel. However, after capitalising on a gap in the market, Wohler’s came to be in 1988 as a leading provider of high quality furniture and homewares. With stores across South Australia, Wohler’s continues to be a family run business headed by Daryl and Marilyn Wohler, with all family members involved in the business.

Wanting to reduce their environmental footprint and save money on operating costs, Wohler’s began on a mission to recondition their stores to achieve maximum energy efficiency. To minimise their green footprint, Wohler’s initially underwent a project to change all their halogen globes over to LED globes, before making the decision to install solar.

By utilising the large roof spaces of their stores, Wohler’s installed enough solar to help meet most of their store’s electricity needs. Not only was their ZEN solar energy solution exceeding expectations from day one, but it was also installed to allow for battery storage at a later date. This design was critical in ensuring that the ZEN solution will one day help  Wohler’s achieve their aspiration of becoming completely grid independent.

ZEN’s excellent reputation in the Barossa region, combined with high-quality products and service helped in winning the job. With ZEN providing an irrefutable business case on the benefits of solar, even after the installation of energy efficient lighting, Wohler’s agreed that solar was a sound investment and are now reaping the benefits.

Installing the project

Daryl and Marilyn Wohler’s goal was to decrease their businesses environmental impact while providing peace of mind for the future energy costs involved in running a business. ZEN’s expert team delivered on this goal, providing a superior commercial energy solution that exceeded expectations and will continue to do so well into the future.

The 235kW system was installed by Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installers and complies with CEC guidelines, making sure that the system is installed to the same high level of safety and expertise that ZEN is known for.

Once receiving the go ahead for each installation, ZEN Energy was able to complete each project within a few months. This included all the paper work and red tape along with the installation of each system, a storage ready solar system, testing and training.

How the system works

The solar panels installed across the three sites were a combination of 250W ET Solar and 265W Qcell Solar panels, while inverters ranged between ABB and Fronius.

ZEN and Wohler’s can both monitor the solar solutions performance through the ABB Portal and Fronius monitoring devices. This allows Wohler’s to use online monitoring to view and track system performance, whilst also providing the tools for the ZEN Energy team to offer ongoing service and support.

Project outcomes

Wohler’s were thrilled with the outcomes of the installations, specifically stating how the solution on their Tanunda store was exceeding their expectations and ZEN’s conservative production estimates from the moment the solution was turned on.

The energy being produced by each solution is helping to power Wohler’s large retail store’s lighting and air-conditioning requirements, and will help the company achieving their goals of reducing their environmental footprint, operating costs and becoming more grid-independent.

“Thanks to ZEN Energy, Wohler’s will eventually become completely self-sufficient – I would recommend all businesses to consider this sustainable option”

Daryl Wohlers | Company Proprieter.

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